The Landing Strip

April 20, 2020 at 1:29 pm (Projects) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

A landing strip, a command center, the drop spot. No matter what you call it, every house should have one. It’s a place for all the family “stuff”.

I call it a landing strip. In this house we actually have it split up a little, but it’s whatever works for you! When you come in our backdoor, we have hooks for each family member. Bag and coat go there. There’s a little hook station for car keys. And we have a small rack holding bug spray, sunscreen, sunglasses, wireless speaker, etc. But there’s still other “stuff” that accumulates. What do you do with it?! Enter our landing strip.

He we have a stash spot for everything else so that we stay organized and don’t lose important things! We use the chalk board for calendar notes and grocery lists. And each of the boys and mom and dad have a basket. We put bills in ours. The boys put homework and such in theirs. I keep a pen jar on the shelf. Here is stash stamps, a candle lighter, a marker, and pens. If you need more than that they you have to go upstairs to the office. 😆

The antique mirror got a metal insert painted with chalk paint. The little chalk marker tray below it is an antique door stop out of an old barn. The baskets are from Hobby Lobby. The shelf is a custom design I requested from Jason. He added and welded the flourish at the top of the brackets.

Here’s my tid bit of advice. Have a place for the “stuff”, whatever you may call it. I truly believe in “a place for everything and everything in its place.” Even if you don’t organize that far, at least set up a zone with a calendar and pens and notepad. Have a spot where you put mail and homework. Always put your keys in the same location. I promise you that these tricks will prevent you from losing important things or searching frantically for the lost items!

And just for fun, here’s a shot of what it looks like more often than not. 😉

Anything else you would add?

XX,

Jess

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Saving a Little Fun Money

March 5, 2020 at 5:53 am (travel) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Money is tight, I’m right there with you. But I want to show my kids things and have fun too. Here are a few simple ways that I have found to grow a little bit of a “fun money” fund and set aside to do some family things, or whatever your heart desires!

Ibotta– (referral code irrqbz) This app really is legit. When I shop, just as I normally would for everyday items and necessities, I search the app for deals on things I got. If I I some, I scan my receipt and get money back. They add it to your account and you can cash out via paypal or other gift cards once you hit $20. It’s a little slow, but free money! Sometimes I check the app before I shop to see if there’s a good deal going on for something we use anyway even if it wasn’t on my list, but in general just shop as normal then scan. If you use my code we can help each other as a team to earn bonuses. Score! See below for how much I’ve earned this way!

Ebates– Same idea, but use when shopping online. You start through the app and then search for the store you want to shop at. Money is added up and a check is sent out to you quarterly. I have cashed the checks and they are legit too! See below!

Receipt Hog– This one you just scan any receipts you get into the app. They give you points for each one. Once you add up to so many points you can cash out via PayPal or other methods. Super easy and I scan I receipts I’m already getting, gas, groceries, etc. I’ve made a little cash so far.

My big tip when doing this is to take the cash out directly and immediately add it to an envelope or jar and stash it away. Why? So that it doesn’t get spent on everyday stuff. This helps me to really keep it “extra” money and see it add up. I add money to this envelope that I get from anything extra, maybe selling some clothes or a furniture project I do.

A couple more to possibly try:

Door Dash- I’ve signed up to be a delivery driver just for some pocket cash, and since I’m always out and about anyway, but haven’t found any jobs in my area yet. Keep you posted!

Amazon Product testing- there are several sites you can do this through. But beware that you may eventually add up enough “income” that taxes may need to be filed. I’ve been told that the expenses would outweigh the income, so this may not be an issue. I’ve used PPOC before and made a little cash.

I also sell our clothes and items that we outgrow, especially baby things, through local resale shops or Stuff, Etc.

Good luck saving for something fun! What are you hoping to save up for?!

XX,

Jess

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Some Handmade Gifts

April 28, 2013 at 5:48 pm (Projects) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Hi there!  I wanted to do a quick post to show you what we made for our family members for Christmas (and an upcoming wedding!).  I started with a few simple stone tiles from Menard’s.  I used a flat round brush, a stencil, and some solid paint pots.  I dabbed the paint on over the stencil without wiping.  I then added some clear coat and some felt pads to the bottom corners.  Now…we have personalized coasters!  I know I have seen this done before, but I had to share because they turned out so sweet and simple.  And, they didn’t break the bank!

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What do you think?  I think they turned out great and it was a lot of fun making gifts this year instead of buying something no one needs! 🙂

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DIY Serving Tray

April 3, 2012 at 8:34 am (Projects) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

This has been on my to-do list since we moved it. Or maybe even before. But it became even more urgent when we bought the new couch with an ottoman. Now I have no room for a coffee table, but that means nowhere safe to put drinks and essentials. However, the previous owners left us lots of junk in the barns, so this one was a snap.

Gross old window uncovered in a heap in the barn:

Add some barn door hardware as handles:

The window was in surprisingly great shape once it was cleaned up, so I added a little paint and distressed the edges, added the hardware, and then used an Uppercase Living decal I had packed away on the glass. (I had minor trouble with the decal, so it may get a new one in the future. Talk about frustration!) And here you have our new serving tray:

Just finished this little guy and we already love it. We think it looks cute in that rustic way, but is also super handy!

Well, what do you think? We are happy with the way this quick and easy project came out! Have you ever tried anything like this?

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No-Sew Curtains

June 28, 2011 at 6:34 pm (Projects) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Every room of my new house has needed curtains.  But, wow!  Curtains are expensive!  I always see other people’s fun curtains and think, “I can do that!”  But then I get started and realize, oh yea, I can’t sew.  At all.  My mom suggested using iron-on fabric hem tape and making faux roman shades.  Light bulb!

I have a little mud room, where the dog kennels and laundry live.  These blinds were broken and grimy.  I thought this was the perfect place to try this experiment out on.  Its a small room, so it can take a bright punch, plus we aren’t in there all the time, so if they aren’t prefect on the first try its no big deal.

So, after reminding myself that the situation couldn’t get much worse, I set forth.  I bought a few yards of a fun, floral fabric for each window.  I used tension rods, and used these to mark the width of each window.  Once I had the width I used the hem tape and ironed a hem onto each side.  Then ironed a hem to the bottom and a pocket at the top.  I hung the curtains, rolled them up, and tied in place with matching ribbon.  Viola!

The bright fabric ties in the red antique table I use for folding laundry, and the fun towels I bought for next to the sink.  You can see here that the whole little room needs some work, but for now at least the curtains are fun!

What a simple technique with big impact, no?

I love this big old sink, even though it needs some work too.  Here you can see the little purple and yellow picture that I hung too.  You can also see the antique expandable mirror.

I think this experiment turned out pretty well and will definitely use this to make me braver for my next curtain project!

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Sheet Music Table

June 27, 2011 at 6:33 pm (Projects) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I have had this little vintage fold-up table sitting in the closet for a while now.  My grandma had given it to me, cracked green paint and all.  I would stare at it now and then, uninspired, but I knew an idea would eventually come to me.

Finally one day last week the idea did come to me!  Sheet music!  I happened to have some old sheet music, some Mod Podge, and even some ribbon and scrap book supplies.  I, of course, forgot the before picture.  And this was one of those that would have been good to have!  But, after working on this project all weekend, I am finally finished and I really like the results.

 

 

 

 

I later read somewhere that in order to keep the ripples and bubbles from occurring you can dampen your paper before adding Mod Podge.  I will definitely try that next!  But for a first try, I think it turned out super cute!  What do you all think?

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An Awesome DIY Project

June 21, 2011 at 1:44 pm (Inspiration) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

This chandelier is completely awesome! I drool everytime I look at this picture.  Someday I hope I can work up the courage to attempt this DIY project.  For now I call it inspiration and stare longingly at the photo each day.

 

 

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Chandelier For The Porch

March 24, 2009 at 8:12 am (Projects) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Here it is.  This is the fancy project I completely with the ugly, little, pink basket. 

Here is the before picture:

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Here is what I made:

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I took a 75cent basket from the Salvation Army and spray painted it black.  I hung crystals and beads on it and added a length of chain.  I added some mini candles in jars and viola!  We now have a chandelier above the ice cream table on the porch!  I found this idea on Apartment Therapy and think its super cute.  What do you think?

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Office Storage

March 6, 2009 at 11:19 am (Home Changes and Additions, Projects) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I love the matching office supplies my mom got me a year or two ago.  There is a pencil cup, tray, two boxes, and a magazine box, and they are all in different forms of black and white damask with little bits of red here and there.  I was thinking lately that I just needed a few more storage pieces for office things.  I had recently seen a post online about making your own magazine boxes with cereal boxes.  Last night I dug into this project as well.

I cut the cereal box top off and cut the sides on an angle.  I then recovered the box by glueing some black and white skull material (I have a thing for skulls right now) over all outter sufaces.  It was easy and cheap and I think it goes well in the office space.  Now I have one more storage box.  More to come in the future.

I didn't take a before picture of the empty cereal box, but here is the finished product.

I didn't take a before picture of the empty cereal box, but here is the finished product.

There it sits next to the other box on the shelf of our pocket office.

There it sits next to the other box on the shelf of our pocket office.

Also, another little office update.  Tony finally installed the frame for the projector picture.  The wall at least appears empty for a reason now.  I kind of like it.  It almost looks a little purposefully quirky when the projector isn’t on.

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